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01 October 2011 @ 09:37 pm
Say what?  
This week, we were able to talk about two of the Critical Media Theories. One of these is the Public Sphere, an aspect of social life where issue are discussed and negotiated. In today's fast-changing world, there are so many things that could be talked about to elicit good and fulfilling conversations. In relation to this, it's nice to know that people could turn to these public spheres to voice out their opinions and ideas on issues with social relevance, or just about anything under the sun.

In class, physical examples of the public sphere were discussed, such as coffee shops, salons, and barber shops. Indeed, these places are good avenues for discussion. The coffee shops provide ample chill ambience that gets people in the mood to chat over frappucinos or lattes. Likewise, salons and barber shops pamper their customers, allowing a relaxed atmosphere to radiate on everybody. 

Last week, I was running late for my 7:30 am Accounting class, so I decided to take a cab to school since it was also raining pretty heavy that morning. On my way to Ateneo, I was silently sitting inside the cab when the taxi driver broke me away from my daydreaming. Apparently, he said something which I failed to catch, and it wasn't until his third sentence that I realized what he was talking about: UAAP basketball. He mentioned the usual stuff about the Blue Eagles being a strong team and all that. Trying not to be impolite or anything, I decided to go along with the conversation. I started sharing my views about the topic. I talked about my favorite players and how this basketball competition could boost our school pride. Without noticing, we were digressing to other topics and the conversation just went on and on, until we arrived in katipunan and it was time for me to get off.

I'm sure that this happens frequently during cab rides, and it gave me the idea that this very arrangement could also be considered as a public sphere. I mean, the 'ideal situations' indicated in the theory - all opinions should be considered legitimate, discourse is not one-sided, and unlimited access to information with equal participation in discourse - are met in this scenario. My discussion with the cab driver was very natural, which enabled us to just voice out our opinions about the UAAP. This just shows that it's possible for us to find a public sphere just about anywhere, and it what's good is that this gives us the feeling that there will always be people who are willing to listen to whatever we might want to say.

merced_adasamerced_adasa on October 5th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
It's great that the public sphere can be created even in spontaneous situations. Like in your case, it's good when that public sphere is created with someone you don't get to converse with often. It really opens up the mind to foreign ideas.